Let’s make the finest bohemian vintage guitars sound! We want to present the unknown story of archtop guitars produced between 1930s and 1960s in Schönbach (Luby). Help us make a CD with a book, prepare an exhibition and put on concerts!
Author: Marek Rejhon a spol.
Just a few years after jazz is born in the United States, German craftspeople in the small city of Schonbach in Czechoslovakia are among the first in Europe to build archtop (jazz) guitars. And they are so good that after only a few years their instruments are – under different brands – exported to the whole world. Schönbach thus plays a crucial role in shaping the European jazz scene.
Then comes the World War II after which the Czech Germans are expelled from Czechoslovakia. The Germen craftspeople from Schönbach (newly renamed Luby u Chebu) mostly settle in the Bavarian city of Bubenreuth, where they further develop their craft – their instruments are later played by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Despite these historical turmoils, the production of archtop guitars is maintained in Czechoslovakia. The family of Alfred Bräuer, one of most talented archtop guitar luthiers, stays in Luby and continues high-quality production even after the nationalization of the instrument-making firms in the city.
Here lies one of the paradoxes of Czech history. First-class guitars produced in the 1950s and 1960s that represent the apex of instrument production in Luby (thus mostly intended for international export) are built by Czech Germans, a minority portrayed by the Communist regime as a national enemy. It is no surprise that the Brauer family carried on its work in full secrecy.
We fell in love with this story. We have researched the history of these unique guitars from the 1930s to the 1960s for more than 20 years. And now we want to show what we have discovered.
We managed the first to recording sessions and found out what is needed for the recording of such rare instruments (and the amount of resources needed to repair them). For the rest, we need you :-)
We are a group of enthusiasts who got together to bring this project to life... Guitarist Marek Rejhon, musician and instrument restorer Tomáš Dvořák, photographer Karel Pazderka, recording studio Good Day Records, experts from the German project Bubenreutheum, AnFas studio and many others.